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Re-centering a steering wheel


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My steering cable was replaced under warranty and everything works great again. However, the steering wheel is not centered when going straight. It's off by about 45 degrees. The shop said they would straighten it out. Is it hard to do? If not, then I could do it on the water and get it dead on center.

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Sounds like you are off a gear on your rack and pinion. Pull the steering box under the dash off. (four bolts I think) With the rudder straight, turn the steering wheel straight and then replace steering box. IIRC

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Better to do it on the water because prop rotation (directional prop wash) can effect what is actually "straight". Get out on the water and get the boat going straight (under power) then just shut the boat down and don't turn the wheel at all. Climb under the dash and remove the four bolts (I believe it takes a 7/16" socket or wrench) that hold the rack to the steering mechanism. Once the rack is off have someone set the wheel straight and then reattach the rack.

:thumbup:

Edited by NorCaliBu
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martinarcher

Better to do it on the water because prop rotation (directional prop wash) can effect what is actually "straight". Get out on the water and get the boat going straight (under power) then just shut the boat down and don't turn the wheel at all. Climb under the dash and remove the four bolts (I believe it takes a 7/16" socket or wrench) that hold the rack to the steering mechanism. Once the rack is off have someone set the wheel straight and then reattach the rack.

:thumbup:

Yep - I did mine twice. Once after setting the rudder straight in the garage, then again on the water the first time since it wasn't even close with the garage centering. LOL.gif

Mine was way easier to pull off with the 6 bolts holding my wheel on. Depends on your wheel through. The earlier Isotta Vallelunga wheels has exposed mounting bolts. I think the newer Isotta Zulag wheels also had the 6 mounting bolts exposed.

I would guess your boat has the Zulag....

3971_sm.jpg

Edited by martinarcher
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...Mine was way easier to pull off with the 6 bolts holding my wheel on...

The problem with doing it that way is you only have 6 possible positions. They are much "rougher" adjustments and the chance that it is going to line up straight is fairly slim. Each position represents 60° of rotation. What if you're 30° off? :Doh:

Just do it right. Make the adjustment with the rack under the dash. :yes:

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So I took the boat out last weekend. Got it going straight, killed the motor pulled the steering box, had the wife center the steering wheel and reinstalled the steering box. Worked like a charm. Now the steering wheel is too far to the right..... :whistle:

Edited by MaddMaxx
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So I took the boat out last weekend. Got it going straight, killed the motor pulled the steering box, had the wife center the steering wheel and reinstalled the steering box. Worked like a charm. Now the steering wheel is too far to the right..... :whistle:

:rofl:

I was just thinking that I should do this as mine is a little off.

Now that I just read this post and Martins maybe I'll just let it be...

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I need to do this too.

A few weeks ago we were putting around on a cruise. My 5 year old daughter on my lap, letting her steer. It was driving her absolutely crazy that the wheel was turning left (90 degrees), but the boat was going straight. She would turn it so the wheel was straight, but it would go right. "DOES NOT COMPUTE" was in loop mode in her brain. Kept telling me the boat was broken. Then I showed her how you make it go straight, by keeping the wheel turned to the left. She was getting mad.

I need to fix it before it puts her into therapy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Rather than making the adjustments under the dash, go to the rear of the boat and under the floorboard find the steering cable. It has a little ball with a groove type adjustment. May need to pry the ball apart with a screwdriver, mine took a little force to get it apart and move it either up or down the grooves depending on which way the wheel needs to be adjusted. Simple to do, hardest part was getting the ball apart. Need to tweak it just right to get the steering wheel in the right position. Hope that helps.

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